Monday, May 23, 2005

Bookmarks to go

Between school, work, and home, I run across a lot of interesting websites that I want to look at later, and like most people, just bookmark them for later review. However, since the computer I bookmark them on is not always the one where it's appropriate to review them later, I'd been trying to figure out the best way to synch my bookmarks across multiple computers.

I heard of the bookmark synch extension for firefox, and had it recommended by many people. Trouble is, I'm behind a firewall at work that only allows port 80 connections outbound, so I couldn't synch up to an FTP server.

I've been hearing about for a few months now, and it's definitely been useful for when I've been at a computer that wasn't mine, and ran across an interesting site. Instead of emailing myself the address as I used to, I started posting them to my account. However, the thought of manually entering all of my old bookmarks was daunting, and I hadn't found a way to add bookmarks that was as easy as cntl-d in firefox. Until I could address those concerns, it was still a secondary bookmarking method for me.

Over the past couple of days however, I've discovered a couple of tools that I hope will address these issues, and allow me to really start using for all my bookmarks. First is the Foxylicious extension for firefox, that allows you to set up daily synchs from your account to your local browser. Tags are used as folders, and you can even create nested folders by using a delimiter in your tags. It also appeared to have added a context menu item to post a page to your account, making bookmarking easy.

The other problem - migrating my current links - was solved through a neat utility provided by Julian Bez. You export your bookmarks to an html file and then upload it to his site. The site then shows you each of your bookmarks, and allows you choose whether to upload it to your account, and if so, what tags to use. After that, you simply enter in your account name and password and it posts all of those chosen bookmarks to your account. It took me about 15 min to take care of all my bookmarks, and now I'm all set.

I still have to see if this combination is sustainable in the long run, but it definitely has gotten me one step closer to being location independent when it comes to my computing needs. More about that goal later though.